Welcome to the DC Water Cares Multifamily Assistance Program! 

Thank you for your interest in the Multifamily Assistance Program! We’ve prepared the following information to provide all the details needed for multifamily occupants to determine eligibility, and owners or Homeowner’s Association (HOA) representative to decide on participation.  If you have any other questions or concerns after reviewing this information, please contact us on (202) 354-3750 or Cares@dcwater.com.

DC Water has long recognized the need to provide water bill assistance to families with fixed and limited incomes.  Our individual effort and partnership with the District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) resulted in the original Customer Assistance Program (CAP), CAP 2, CAP 3, CAP Non-Profit, Emergency Residential Relief Program (ERRP), DC Water Cares Residential Assistance Program, and now the Multifamily Assistance Program. Under this program DC Water has set aside funds to assist customers residing in eligible multifamily dwellings.

For more information on all our customer assistance programs, please visit dcwater.com/cap.

How It Works

DC Water encourages all owners and HOA representatives of eligible multifamily properties to participate in the Multifamily Assistance Program while funds are available.  The HOA, property owner or designee must complete an application and agree to the terms of the program.  The amount of assistance provided is the same for each unit within the same property and is calculated based on the account details.  For each unit where a qualifying tenant resides, DC Water will post a credit to the property’s water service account.  The participating HOA or owner will then post 90% of the credit to the qualifying occupant’s rental or HOA account.  The intended purpose is to reduce the amount due in rent or HOA fees by the amount due for the tenant’s share of the water bill.

Who Qualifies for Assistance?

Once an owner or HOA agrees to participate, occupants of a multifamily property with four (4) or more units may qualify for assistance and are considered eligible if participating in benefit programs offered through DOEE, Department of Human and Health Services (DHS) or Department of Community and Housing Development (DCHD - such as TANF, SNAP, and LIHEAP assistance). Occupants who reside in an Affordable Housing Unit (AHU) are also eligible, and occupants who do not automatically qualify because of participation in other benefit programs may be income eligible, if approved through DOEE.  Occupants who have previously applied for and are currently receiving assistance do not need to reapply.  DC Water will notify benefit or AHU eligible occupants when their owner applies and is approved. These occupants will then have the option of accepting or declining the credit – as some programs count other benefits received as income.  If you are receiving other benefits, please check with the benefit office for the program to determine if you should accept the credit.

Assistance will be made available through this program in three phases. Participating HOAs or owners will have the option to receive assistance for eligible occupants as follows:

  • Phase 1 – February 2021 Occupants who reside in Affordable Housing Units.
  • Phase 2 – March 2021 Benefit eligible occupants (i.e. TANF, SNAP, LIHEAP).
  • Phase 3 – April 2021 Occupants who are income eligible through DOEE application.

Owner Participation Status

Before you take any action, first confirm the property information and check the HOA's or owner’s participation status. The option to search by address will be available on this page with Phase 2 assistance. Please check back for updates. Owners or HOA's who have submitted an application can enter the application tracking number to check the status. Click on ‘Check Application Or Unit Status.’ If your property isn’t included in the program, this may be for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The property is not eligible to participate because it is owned by a government agency.
    These properties currently are not eligible to participate.
  • The property has not been identified in our database as a multifamily dwelling that is serviced by one meter. A multifamily dwelling is a property with four (4) or more residential units.
  • The property is included in a range of “through” addresses connected to the water meter through a main structure.  For example, DC Water may have the metered address as 2100 Main St W, and your connected address is 2102 Main St W. Verify the main structure address for the property to ensure the correct status is provided.

How to Apply

Owners and HOAs

The owner / HOA application process takes about 15 minutes to complete.  Owners or HOAs must provide property information including total units, total AHUs (if applicable), occupied AHUs, and tenant information – including name, address, unit identification, telephone number, and email (if available).  If there is any retail or non-residential space within the property, information must be provided regarding water usage and square footage for this space as well.  If for any reason the information provided does not match the information DC Water has on record, please be prepared to provide supplemental documentation – including Certificate of Zoning Inclusion, Certificate of Occupancy, and/or a Letter from the District agency that determines affordable housing.  Please also be prepared to comply with the terms and conditions of the program which include access to the water meter readings, payment arrangements on remaining past due balances, and posting credit to the occupant’s rental or HOA account within 60 days of approval.

To apply, owners or HOA representative click Begin New Owner / HOA Application.


Remember, occupants who reside in an Affordable Housing Unit do not need to apply.  Your property owner or HOA will provide residency details. Occupants who receive benefits through DOEE, LIHEAP, or DHS will be reviewed for eligibility beginning in March 2021.  In April 2021, occupants who are not currently receiving benefits through these programs may qualify based on income eligibility and must apply through DOEE. More information on the DOEE application process will be available at that time. All occupants should check your email or mail for a tracking number and access instructions to the program website to accept your credit when applicable. 

What to Expect

DC Water will make every effort to quickly process application material and notify owners, HOAs and occupants of updates to assistance information.  During the applicable assistance phase, owners, HOAs and occupants can track the application and unit status through the program website using the tracking number provided after the application has been submitted. Click on ‘Check Application Or Unit Status’ to access the tracking tool and enter your tracking number.

Applications will be reviewed, and statuses updated within five (5) business days of submission.  Assistance credits will be posted to the DC Water account within ten (10) business days of application approval and occupant acceptance.  Rental or HOA account credits will be posted to the occupant’s account within sixty (60) calendar days of approval.

Complaints & Escalations

DC Water hopes multifamily owners and HOAs will see the value in assisting its eligible occupants and choose to participate in the program; however, if for any reason the owner / HOA declines or withdraws participation in the program as required, DC Water will not post or remove credits posted to the DC Water account that the owner /HOA has not appropriately applied to the occupant’s rental or HOA account.  Escalated instances may result from the following circumstances::

  1. Owner / HOA declines participation.
    An owner / HOA is not required to participate in the multifamily assistance program or subsequently provide a rental or HOA credit to the occupant. Occupants are encouraged to seek other assistance options when the owner or HOA chooses not to participate.
  2. Owner /HOA accepts participation but does not receive account credit.
    An owner / HOA cannot provide a rental or HOA account credit until DC Water posts the credit to the property’s account. Credit posting may be delayed due to discrepancies in information that require additional verification or resources available to process the information. Occupants, please check the credit status online and allow up to 60 days for the credit to appear on your rental or HOA account. After 60 days, please contact DC Water at Cares@dcwater.com or (202) 354-3750 if the credit has not been posted to your rental or HOA account.
  3. Owner / HOA accepts participation, receives account credit, but does not post the correct rental credit.
    An owner / HOA who accepts participation and an account credit for any property unit is required to provide 90% of the account credit as a rental or HOA account credit to the occupant.  If 60 days from the DC Water notice have expired and the owner / HOA has not applied the credit or applied an incorrect amount, please contact DC Water. DC Water willl:
    • Issue a demand notice to the owner or HOA to post the appropriate credit to the account within 10 business days of the notice date.
      • Technical inability to post the credit to the rental or HOA account due to system limitations may be remedied by completing, signing, notarizing, and returning the Rental or HOA Expense Reduction Acknowledgement section of the Occupant Notification Letter.
    • Revoke the account credit if the rental or HOA credit is not posted by the 10th business day.
    • Update the property participation status to Non-Compliance.
      • No further account credits will be granted to a property deemed non-compliant for the current fiscal year.  The property may reapply pending program availability in the following fiscal year

Any owner, HOA or occupant concerns regarding payment of rental or HOA expenses for properties who have declined participation, not received an account credit from DC Water, or had a credit revoked must be handled through traditional landlord / tenant dispute procedures within the Office of the Tenant Advocate for renters. Please visit that agency’s website at https://ota.dc.gov/ for more information.  Unit owners, please reference your HOA documents to determine the appropriate process for disputing payment of HOA fees.